Offering your child the chance to help you make mosaic tile crafts is sure to grab her attention. By allowing contact paper to join your crafting party, it can prove to be the medium that holds this all together and lends a “helping hand” when you need it most. Even if these projects require some extended drying time, stick to it, because you can’t rush the creative beauty that will be the end result.
1. Stepping Stones
Your child is sure to get a kick out of this craft. Get some stepping stone concrete from a craft store and read the instructions thoroughly. Trace the outline of an old pie pan on the contact paper and cut the circle about one-quarter inch smaller than the outline. As you mix the concrete safely outside away from your child, she can arrange mosaic tiles, colored side down, on the sticky side of the contact paper. She can place them freehand or you can place a drawing below the contact paper to act as a guide. Once her pattern is ready and the concrete is mixed, liberally spray the inside of the pie pan with cooking spray and place the contact sheet, sticky side up, inside the pan. Scoop the concrete into the pan and smooth out the top with a trowel. The concrete packaging will tell the appropriate dry time. Once it’s ready, gently tip it the pan over and slide the stone out. Peel off the contact paper and take a look at the mosaic design your child created.
2. Flower Pot
You and your little helper can liven up a terra cotta flowerpot with some mosaic tiles. Trace the flowerpot outline and cut it out. Using a marker, draw a picture on the clear side of the contact paper, such as a flower or ladybug. Pull the backing off and place it sticky side up so she can place the tiles face down on it. As she works, use a trowel to spread a thin layer of mortar on the flowerpot. Once she’s done, pick up the contact paper and gently press the backside of the tiles into the mortar. Slowly peel the contact paper away from the tiles and gently readjust any tiles into the grout, as needed. Your child should just watch this part and shouldn’t touch the mortar. Allow the mortar to set for at least 24 hours before you press grout between the tiles. Wipe excess grout away with a damp sponge and allow it to cure completely according to the product’s instructions. Once it’s dry, your little one can help you plant a new flower in the pot.
3. Picture Frames
You can transform a plain wooden frame with some colorful mosaic tiles. If you have various shapes of tiles, use those. Broken tiles are a no-no and can cut little fingers. Working as a team, you can squeeze a dab of non-toxic glue onto the back of each tile, one by one, and your child can grab the edges of the tile and place it on the picture frame where she sees fit. Mosaic craft stores suggest using a nontoxic, universal mosaic adhesive that has no fumes, for mosaic tiles. Once the adhesive is dry, you can put your favorite family photo in the revived frame.
4. Hot Pad
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and make a mosaic hot pad. If you have any leftover 1-square-foot tiles leftover from a kitchen or bathroom remodel, you can put one of them to good use with this craft. Just like the picture frame craft, work as a team where you apply the universal mosaic adhesive and she places the mosaic tiles. With this one, however, instead of a freehand design, ask her to place the square mosaic tiles in rows with the edges of the tiles pressing up next to each other.
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